Written by Captain Mary on Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An opportunity was posted to me, and I believe that a person should never pass on an opportunity. My sister June was heading toward Orlando for a convention of sorts and asked if I would like to ride along. I had so much fun last time, even though I was alone during most of the time, I figured that my other family members were close by and I could fill my time with them.

June picked me up around one and we got on the road shortly afterward. The drive toward Orlando is about 4 hours, and it seems that we never run out of things to talk about. We were going to meet our other sister, the baby, Cheryl, in Orlando for dinner. As time passed we exchanged phone messages with Cheryl who arrived very early in Orlando. Cheryl passed the time by walking the mall, and June and I, made an effort to get there as soon as we could.

Arriving at the hotel, with Cheryl standing there with a big smile. The three of us together again, the feeling of all the pieces together, our different personalities somehow making one crazy family unit. I can't ignore the warm fuzzy feeling I get when I am with my siblings. Family, to me, is far more important than anything I could ever think of. Nothing even comes close to making me feel this good. I am always reminded of the times we had together, the adventures, the turmoil, and mostly the funny stuff. While Cheryl was waiting for us to arrive she located a great Italian restaurant for us to have dinner together. First, we got June checked into to hotel, and she introduced us to some of the members of the club. I stood there very proud to be part of this sisterly trio as June introduced us to her friends.

Off to dinner we went, a bit of a walk, but we laughed and talked the entire way. The restaurant was a bit unusual, we were asked if we would like a table in the kitchen. I said "No", right away. We walked through the kitchen like a mini tour before heading toward our table, stopping by a table with the revolving head of the "Pope". The atmosphere was joyful and had a great aura about it. Our server, a good looking young man, made us feel welcome and part of an Italian family. The festivities began and my voice tends to get loud, Cheryl says, "inside voice, Mary". Now, with my inside voice, my mouth runs on as I flirt with our good looking server, June says, "Catholic voice". Now, I am talking with my inside Catholic voice, yeah right, that lasted a couple of minutes. A couple of friends of June's showed up at our table because they heard we would be there. I felt like a celebrity, or maybe a freak show at a circus, no matter, we had a great time. The dinner was fantastic and the conversation was ours.

Time to depart each other temporarily, June remaining at the hotel for her meetings and I was to follow Cheryl to her house. A couple hours down the road ends and we make our way to Beverly Hills, Florida. Still talking, we finally had to end the evening, Cheryl had to work the whole weekend, although we have limited time together, it is special and we make the most of it.

I feel asleep on the couch watching T.V., I couldn't help going outside to try some night time photos before bed. It seemed as if my sleep went so quickly, before I knew it, the smell of coffee woke me and an opportunity to talk with sister before she went to work. I noticed it was still very dark, it wasn't even 5 am, but with 2 cups of coffee in me now, going back to sleep would be insane. A couple hours later my dad called and it was time to go and spend some time with my much cherish parent. This would be a time to spend alone with Daddy. We went out to breakfast spending our time reminiscing about the times we had together. The stories of our adventures together that were only ours. The hours passed so quickly and it was time to return to Cheryl's house.

Before Cheryl could return home, I got a call from my brother, who said he would pick me up and that after Cheryl got a bit of rest she could join us. I am certain that wasn't in her plans, but she is such a trooper, she came by and we talked and talked. After the evening Cheryl and I spend some girly time together, but the time again flew by and it was time to sleep, our last evening together. Again, falling asleep on the couch I was awoken with a kiss on my forehead. I got a warm feeling of love that made the rest of day full of joy. Got packed up and headed to my brothers house, upon my arrival the gate opened welcoming me. Hugs from my nephew is always a good start to the morning.

Charles and Mel had afternoon plans, a bridal shower, with friends. I was going to go along and meet their friends and crash the party. The morning we spent at what you would think as mundane errands, was a time for me and my brother to spend together, laughing and enjoying each other. Nothing serious in our conversation, just time to catch up and be brother and sister. Like the day with my Daddy, my chance to be his little girl again. Each moment with my sisters, brother and father warmed my heart, and filled that space that becomes a void after not hearing from them for any period of time.

Ready now for our afternoon out, being introduced to Charles and Mel's friends, I felt like a celebrity all over again. A great group of people and watching a young couple in love make the plunge to the next stage. Hope in their eyes and love in their hearts, I wish for them a life time of joy. I went outside the little wine shop to sit down and give my feet a break, camera in hand I couldn't help taking some pictures of the old little town, big city Crystal River. I was playing with some of the setting on my camera and took some really fun pictures. The evening just beginning we made our way to the Ale House, a place on the river surrounded by beauty, the sun just beginning to set, another opportunity for pictures and to meet new friends. Sitting outside on the rivers edge, the people here may be accustomed to temperatures in the 40's, but I would have to drink a lot to warm up enough to do this on a regular basis. The evening now over after much fun.

Morning once again, and time to pick up June in Orlando. She was really ready to go home and couldn't get out of there fast enough. Once we were on the road hours flew by and we were home in no time at all. Never running out of things to say my weekend filled with enjoyment and family was over until the next time. I am so happy, needed a break and sibling loven.

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